Talula Hughes_square_web copy


Founder / President

Talula holds a degree in Media and Communications and have worked for various companies in the UK and Australia in coordination roles. The Alithia journey began when she worked for the Synectics Education Initiative, a UK charity founded by her grandfather, Vincent Nolan, which introduced innovative problem-solving tools and positive communication techniques into the education system. These tools, which were originally developed for use in the business world, create a unique, trusting environment where collaboration and creative thinking flourishes.

Talula was raised with this way of thinking and interacting, with her mother trained as a Synectics Communication Facilitator and holding a Masters in Creative Arts Therapy. It is often quoted that these techniques go beyond what we think of as communication and become a way of approaching life. These holistic, yet scientific, tools paired with teachings from an indigenous perspective by a close family friend, gave Talula a deeper understanding of connection, culture, purpose and learning from a young age.

Talula has spent many years following the latest research in brain development, learning and initiatives within the education system world-wide, and assessing which approaches work and why.Talula witnessed an increase in youths at risk, children being diagnosed with autism, ADHD, behavioural / learning difficulties and children suffering from anxiety and depression.She noticed that in rural, disadvantaged areas, there is a high rate of children falling through the cracks, dropping out of school, and turning to substance abuse at ages as young as 12.  Talula also noticed a rise in home-education and after researching the many reasons behind this, began to see a need for a supportive space where families could connect and be supported, while also collaborating, accessing resources and attending therapeutic workshops. This was an opportunity to create a Learning Facility that focused firstly on creating a positive culture through the way we communicate and to showcase the effect that this has on children's ability to learn, innovate and develop into well-rounded, happy people.

Karen Caves_square_web copy


Vice President / Partnerships

Karen has a background in environmental studies, with a degree in Applied Science (Natural Systems and Wildlife Management) and works for the State Government in the Office of Environment and Heritage. Karen has practiced the deeper aspects of yoga for more than 20 years and runs Yoga classes for both adults and children. Karen resonates deeply with some of the new approaches to education including positive psychology, language, child-led learning, nature based play and connection.  She has two girls almost 3 years of age and wishes to empower her children to continue to learn according to their own needs, abilities and interests. Karen's involvement with Alithia has shown her that home schooling can be an empowering choice for children and parents alike and with Alithia’s support, she feels she is able to make this choice.

Cat Walsh_square_web



Cat has a Degree in Speech Pathology and a Bachelor of Nursing, and currently works at Southern Cross University teaching anatomy and physiology. She has three children and has experience homeschooling her two eldest sons.  She has moved to the Mid North Coast from Tassie and wants her youngest child to have the benefit of homeschooling, without having to give up a job she loves.

Amy Denshire_web_bw


Website Coordination

Amy holds a degree in Industrial Design, Diploma of Education and has commenced a Masters in Regional Community Development. She works for the Centre of Ecological Learning and as a freelance marketer across graphic and web platforms. Amy has vast experience seeding successful community events and projects including The View Factory (Newcastle), the Bellingen Energy Festival, Bellofoodbox and the Northbank Community Garden. Amy has yearned to make a positive difference to the world for as long as she can remember. This, paired with her creativity, is what led her to become an Industrial Designer. Industrial designers solve complex problems in the form of new products and services.  Amy has been interested in homeschooling since completing a Diploma of Education (Design) and become disenchanted with the current schooling system. Amy lives on a budding permaculture farm and looks forward to broadening her children's education here through the flexibility that homeschooling allows. She is excited to join the inspired, and inspiring, Alithia community and to help shape a project that she feels passionate about. 

Melissa Seelenmeyer_square_web


Treasurer / Marketing & IT

Melissa is a  marketing consultant (and property strategist) with over 15 years experience in advertising and marketing. Working within award winning marketing agencies in Sydney and the Sunshine Coast, as well as running her own marketing and website agency, Melissa has provided marketing for well known brands such as Fox 8, Channel 10, Nike and Coca Cola, as well as small businesses within the tourism, hospitality, health services and real estate sectors across Australia. Founder of PropertyGen, Melissa generates profit solutions for vendors through low cost value-add property development strategies – helping vendors and agents achieve more for their property sale. PropertyGen also provides digital marketing packages and cinematic drone imagery for real estate.

After undertaking a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Melissa graduated in 1999  and was appointed Production Manager for international design agency Attik in Sydney. Managing a creative suite of designers and crew, Melissa coordinated the production of television commercials, music videos and visual identities for national and international clients.

She has worked as a freelance production and event manager, and also as personal assistant to George Negus before moving to the Sunshine Coast in 2005. Melissa has managed the advertising requirements for a variety of clients, within some of the top creative agencies on the Sunshine Coast.

Antje Firla_square_web


Social Media

Antje has a Masters in Health and Exercise Science and Sport Psychology. She is an experienced Life Coach and Exercise Physiologist. Her work combines all aspects of health in a holistic way – Body, Mind and Soul. As a mother of two, she runs her own business and knows about the importance of life skills rather than the curriculum-based skills that are mostly focussed on in the common schooling system. Born in Germany, her interests have been drawn to the successful modern schooling systems that have been established in the last years in Scandinavia and pioneering all around the world. Antje is determined to fully support Alithia's vision becoming reality for our community and beyond.

About Us

Alithia is learning space for collaborative innovation, holistic development and a range of hands-on activities designed for children aged 6 to 12 in Valla, NSW.

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You don't have to live on the Mid North Coast to get involved with Alithia. If you love what we're about, get involved!

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